'Sad news': Tennis fans gutted over Rafa Nadal announcement

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·Sports Editor
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Rafa Nadal in action at the Citi Open in Washington. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Rafa Nadal in action at the Citi Open in Washington. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Rafa Nadal has sparked serious doubts about his participation at the US Open after withdrawing from the Toronto Masters with a nagging foot injury.

Nadal missed Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics last month after injuring his left foot at the French Open, before returning last week at the Citi Open in Washington.

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However the injury hasn't fully healed and the 20-time grand slam champion was forced to pull out of the Toronto hard-court event on Tuesday.

 "I have had this issue for a couple of months, as people know," said Nadal, a five-time winner of the event.

"Of course, it is not a happy situation after all the success that I had here in Canada, not being able to play this year after missing a year."

The Spaniard, who has recently fallen to World No.4, said the decision was a tough one.

But he added that the most important thing was getting better so he could go back to appreciating his time on the court.

"Today, with this pain, I am not able to enjoy it, and I really don't believe that I have the chance to fight for the things that I really need to fight for," he said.

Rafael Nadal in action against Lloyd Harris in Washington. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal in action against Lloyd Harris in Washington. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

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Nadal's withdrawal came a day before what would have been his opening match against 50th-ranked South African Lloyd Harris, who defeated him last week in the third round in Washington.

After aggravating his foot injury in a second-round win over Jack Sock last week, Nadal said after his loss to Harris that it had improved.

But on Tuesday he said it hindered him too much to allow him to be competitive in Toronto.

"I don't believe that I had chances to fight (in the tournament)," said Nadal, who had a first-round bye.

The injury looks likely to lead to a withdrawal from next week's Masters 1000 in Cincinnati, leaving Nadal's US Open participation in question.

Nadal said he's been dealing with a recurring foot issue since 2005, and it returned at Roland Garros where he fell to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals.

He will now turn his attention to getting fit ahead of the US Open in New York.

"I really wanted to play here a lot, but now is the moment to make a decision, and this is unfortunately the decision that I have taken, and probably in the next couple of days we are going to know more," he said.

The second seed will be replaced by lucky loser and fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez in the main draw.

with agencies

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